348. Caroline to Wilhelm Schlegel in Berlin: Jena, 22 February 1802
[Jena] Monday, 22 February 
|302| Yet again, I must write instead of travel.  My coachman came to me yesterday and assured me in his Sunday jacket that he would not drive even if he could earn 100 rh. doing so, and given the weather we are now having, this certainly needs no lengthy explanation. But since we are indeed having such a thaw and such rain now, perhaps the inundation will have subsided by next week, something for which I am impatiently waiting, along with, especially, a letter from you before actually departing.
Judging from the last letter you wrote to Goethe, Ion will likely not yet be performed on 10 March after all, something you otherwise |303| would have explicitly mentioned.  It was in this way that we learned that Ifland behaved courteously. 
In the meantime, yesterday Goethe had not yet seen the letter about which Ifland spoke, presumably because it had been sent to Kirmes and because Goethe was here until yesterday. He will be coming again on Wednesday and will then also know enough to relate something about the conditions, though I am hoping you will relate them to me yourself around that time, since you already know from my last letter that I have not yet departed. 
We are now having a look at Ion again. Goethe left it here because it needs to be copied quickly for the Frankfurt theater, to which end he also secured a strapping non-commissioned officer whose manuscript Schelling will have to check.  Goethe did make a specific demand, namely, 30 ducats. Is that agreeable to my dearest, precious Schlegel? And does he not intend to write another play very, very soon? 
We did discover several gentle changes, marked in pencil, which I already mentioned to you at the beginning: “affection for the bride”  — and where Ion asks in the final act, scene 1 (I am citing from memory):
Ion. And yet I heard that your bed remained infertile. Xuthus. Hers —
now reads approximately:
Ion. That you have hitherto remained childless. Xuthus. Creusa —
Then between Ion and Creusa:
Ion. You know well: shame does oft oppress women,
where “shame” has been changed into something like “destiny” that oppresses women.  It is enough simply to bring your attention to these passages, since you do in any case still need |304| to go through the piece with such things in mind, for I cannot conceal from you that afterward some people greatly complained about offensive passages, something that may have been the case in the ducal loge as well.  Although that has no particular significance here, it could prove to be disadvantageous in Berlin; so if the problem can be addressed merely by softening certain expressions, then it would be easy enough for you to have a look at it with this in mind.
And really, the simple line spoken by Ion, “I hear that you have no children,” is also cast in a more childlike tone than the other. The copy for the Frankfurt theater will include these small changes in pencil but will by contrast also include the discourses that have been left out for the Berlin performance. Presumably the diminutive Mademoiselle Bulla, who has not yet been incorporated into the classification “mistresses,” will play the role of Ion there. Hegel tells me that she is an extremely comely, well-proportioned young girl, but admittedly not much more than that. 
In the meantime, I would like for you to send me the Berlin essay for the Elegante Zeitung, which typically never passes across my sacred threshold. If you do not genuinely do so in the meantime, then it will admittedly be too late.  I have not wanted to say anything publicly about Turandot, since one can now leave that for Goethe in his official article.  I was all the more disinclined to do so because — just imagine — the play was roundly criticized, and from every quarter, such that one accordingly also hears about it from every quarter.
The most sensible among those who saw it — who are, however, not genuinely sensible by a long shot — maintain that there was simply “too much Schiller” in it. They probably heard something to that effect somewhere. Otherwise they found it too tragic, not sufficiently tragic, too jesting, not sufficiently jesting, too dull, too lofty, — if only one could find out what people actually like, since whatever exhibits those characteristics is basically the only thing that pleases them.
A certain Mademoiselle Maass from Berlin |305| had an extremely auspicious debut in the role of Chatinka. Ifland sent her, and some people claim they recognize a bit of Unzeline in her, and true to the experience that the masses prefer to have everything second hand, she did indeed delight everyone exceedingly with her — presumably extremely weak — luster.  In general, Goethe is occupying himself quite a bit with the theater now.
Since I do not know whether he will be writing you straightaway, and even at the risk that you may not be hearing this first just from me, let me do you the favor of betraying to you approximately what he thinks of the intrigue you sent in.  First, he does certainly think it can be performed, and his intention is to engage Mademoiselle Jagemann. The piece’s shortcoming is allegedly that the intrigue itself proceeds psychologically, inwardly rather than visually. Besides that, however, it is allegedly light, graceful, and funny; in short: he quite praised it!
But you must take care now not to betray me. That would be ill compensation for my having withheld nothing from you. I, as clever as Zadig in Voltaire, concluded from the reference to an “inner intrigue” that you were not the author, since you, fresh and energetic as you after all are, do not occupy yourself with psychology in that sense. Had I been able to coax more information out than merely that concerning the purity of the silver in the dentures and that sort of thing, I might perhaps also have been able pick up a positive trace of just who the author might be. 
Well, good friend, since you are now regularly speaking with Ifland again, you can simply offer him the little piece straightaway, the one, simple condition being that he provide a ticket for me. 
I am enclosing a little romanze that Goethe composed after a folk melody he recently heard someone sing here and which comes from the Rhineland. Someone promised to get the melody to me as well before the mail leaves, and if it does indeed come, you need to pass it along for me to Madam Unzelmann, who sings these light songs so charmingly. It is especially beautiful played on the guitar. 
|306| I had the occasion to ask Fromman himself whether he had fallen out with Ludwig Tiek. He said no, at least he did not think so; although he does not know how Tiek views the matter, the latter had written and told him he did not take offense at what had happened. You can easily enough guess what that is. Fromman told me everything but does not want it to get around, so do not say anything about it to Friedrich Tiek. 
Although Tiek has already assured him that the entire manuscript for the 3rd and 4th issues of the Poetisches Journal would be finished at the beginning of the summer, he has not seen a single page of any of it up to this very hour.  At the time, Tiek asked him for 400 rh., which he did indeed give him by way of a personal bill of exchange. He has now also come to an agreement with him concerning Octavian, which is to appear separately and for which he also has the necessary paper etc.  Still nothing arrived until the time when I wrote and told you that a morsel of Octavian had come along with — not the request — but rather the demand either to send 200 rh. immediately or he would not receive the rest of the manuscript.
Since this occurred after the book fair, when Fromman had already extended himself, he genuinely could not turn loose of so much money, something he also swore up and down and also articulated in his response, though he did allegedly intend to pay the entirety at the Easter book fair whether it were finished or not, whereupon Tiek then insisted, quite in despair, that he would get into a most precarious and embarrassing predicament, having put everyone else off for its sake, and now Fromman would have to send him the manuscript back so that he could peddle it elsewhere. —
It does not seem to me that one can really accuse Fromman of any dishonesty in the matter for having remained firm toward Tiek, something one would always like to see happen at the proper time. —
In any event, he is sending the manuscript back to him to dispose of as he wishes, adding, however, that if Tiek is unable to sell it, he would enter back into the |307| former agreement with all its obligations and would, now as before, be glad to publish it. Allegedly, however, he has not yet been able to sell it.
So tell me: what sort of financial thinking is going on there? What is Charlotte to think about all this, knowing quite well as she does that Friedrich is considerably worse off than earlier?  But what am I saying with “worse off”? He himself is an “ill” beyond saving. I also just heard from the Frommans that things have gone from bad to worse with him and that they intend to have him arrested, just like Heydenreich.  His slothfulness, incapacity to do any work, and gluttony are, as I now see, known everywhere. —
Only imagine, a couple of days ago one of the local tavern proprietors came and presented me with an assignation of 55 rh. for my husband. I immediately saw that it was for Friedrich and had come from some unknown wine merchant in some tiny town somewhere in the vicinity here. —
Last week Vermehren paid off the tradesmen here such as cobblers, tailors, and that sort, for which he has now sold off his soul as well as his poesy to him.  His good daemon has wholly, utterly abandoned him. —
By contrast, the Frommans have praised you mightily; really, at this point, you allegedly can do whatever you want, and do whatever you are able, and are a jewel of uprightness, as is also Schelling.
The latter, this time quite commensurate with Fichte’s own wishes, related to Goethe the entire sequence of events associated with Fichte’s departure, about which Goethe, who was hitherto utterly in the dark, is now exceedingly astonished.  He allegedly never imagined that Fichte was acting without support, but even until then had believed the reference was only to Niethammer and Schelling and perhaps to a couple of other younger teachers.
This revelation made him change his opinion of Fichte for the positive, and Fichte himself had already written that he did not care about anyone |308| else’s opinion. Schelling will say nothing about this publicly. 
So that I might be quite specific about the small changes, I had Ion fetched and wrote all of them down individually.
We are all quite diligent here. Schelling will be presenting two issues of his spekulative Physik at once, then immediately two more, shortly thereafter four for the Easter book fair  — and a second issue of the Kritisches Journal is currently being printed.  If you come to an agreement again with Unger, Schelling will probably get involved with him as well. He sends his regards.
Julchen is still here with me and will be staying until the very last day.  My health is good insofar as I have absolutely no pain, no swollen cheeks or other such symptoms — just sleeplessness, and not so much a lack of sleep than that every night I am awakened from deep sleep by the memory that, with increasing vivacity, beckons me forth from this life. 
Adieu, my friend. If by our next postal day I can write anything more definite about my arrival, I will do so. If not, please be so kind as to ensure that I can also be taken in at the Grattenauers’ if I arrive unexpectedly and that there will be a bit of wood there. 
 The reference is to the Berlin performance of Wilhelm’s play Ion: ein Schauspiel. Wilhelm had written Goethe on 9 February 1802 (Körner-Wieneke 127–28), largely about his anonymity as the author of Ion having been divulged to Iffland in Berlin and about not knowing yet when it might be performed.
In her letter to Wilhelm on 15 February 1802 (letter 347), Caroline had mentioned, apparently in response to something Wilhelm himself had written, that “if Ion is still slated to be performed on 10 March, I absolutely must attend.” Back.
 In his letter to Goethe on 9 February 1802, Wilhelm had mentioned that Iffland had allegedly — thus the report from Friederike Unzelmann — been “full of praise” for the piece, which, however, does not at all seem to have been the case.
 Although Goethe did indeed return from Jena to Weimar on Sunday, 21 February 1802, he did not come back to Jena until Thursday, 4 March 1802, rather than Wednesday, 24 February 1802, as Caroline thought (Weimarer Ausgabe 3:3:51–52).
Caroline’s reference is to the conditions for having Ion performed in Berlin now that Wilhelm’s anonymity as author had been lifted. Wilhelm writes to Goethe in his letter of 9 February 1802 mentioned above:
It was fortuitous that the response to the theater management in Weimar had already been dispatched earlier. The assignment of roles that has been agreed upon guarantees the piece’s overall success, and my identification as author is now advantageous insofar as should I be present here in Berlin at the time of the performance itself, I can attain at least a certain measure of influence over it since, besides Madame Unzelmann, who was already in on the secret [of Wilhelm’s authorship] earlier, I am also acquainted with Madam Meyer [who was to perform the role of Creusa], and can likely also influence the role of Apollo.
There is now no need for the honorarium to be sent to Weimar. If, for formal reasons, the business end of it is to be completed by the same commissioner who initiated it, Herr Hofkammerrath Kirms’s receipt could be sent to me; but perhaps this will not be necessary. Back.
 The theater in Frankfurt had queried Goethe about Ion; see Caroline’s letter to Wilhelm on 15 February 1802 (letter 347). Back.
 Although Wilhelm composed no more dramatic pieces himself, in 1808 he delivered a series of lectures in Vienna on the dramatic arts that some scholars call his most important critical work, namely, the Vorlesungen über dramatische Kunst und Literatur, 3 vols. (Heidelberg 1809–11), translated by John Black and Alexander James William Morrison as A Course of Lectures on Dramatic Art and Literature, 2 vols. (London 1815; 1846). Back.
 Citing from Wilhelm’s play Ion, Caroline locates in act 5, scene 1 the passage that in fact is found in act 2, scene 2: “that you have hitherto remained childless” / “Creusa has indeed.” Creusa’s lines are missing in Caroline’s letter.
Wilhelm seems to have incorporated the changes to the first passage into the published edition, Ion. Ein Schauspiel (Hamburg: Friedrich Perthes, 1803), 56; Sämmtliche Werke 2:80:
Xuthus. Do you not know your origin, dear boy? Ion. I was found abandoned here at the temple, And since then, no one has claimed me. Xuthus. So you are surely the son of my own body. Ion. But I heard Kreusa just assert That you have hitherto remained childless. Xuthus. Creusa has indeed. What is your age? etc.
Wilhelm did not, however, incorporate the changes suggested in the second passage, maintaining instead his original lines, spoken by Ion in act 1, scene 5 (Ion. Ein Schauspiel, 28–29; Sämmtliche Werke 63):
Kreusa. Did someone offer you to the god as a gift? Ion. They found me as an infant on this threshold. Kreusa. Perhaps abandoned by your mother? Ion. Thus must it be; she remained undiscovered. Kreusa. How could she reject such a charming child? Ion. You know well: shame oft oppresses women. Kreusa. I do indeed; and it makes hard those who are gentle. Ion. If she would but finally reveal herself to me, And make up for all the missed love! etc. Back.
 Caroline and Schelling had attended the performance of Schiller’s piece Turandot. Prinzessin von China. Ein tragicomisches Mährchen nach Gozzi (Tübingen 1802), an adaptation of Carlo Gozzi’s (1720–1806) Turandot (1762), in Weimar on Duchess Luise’s birthday, 30 January 1802 (Das Repertoire des Weimarischen Theaters, 42). Caroline mentions the trip over to Weimar in her letter to Wilhelm on 1 February 1802 (letter 345).
After the scandal involving Goethe’s suppression of the review of Ion by Karl August Böttiger, Goethe himself had resolved to do the reviews of Weimar theater performances in the Journal des Luxus und der Moden (1786–1827). See Caroline’s letter to Wilhelm on 8 February 1802 (letter 346). Back.
 Wilhelmine Maass, in Weimar from 1802 to 1805, had just performed the role of Chatinka in Franz Kratter’s Das Mädchen von Marienburg: Ein fürstliches Familiengemälde in fünf Aufzügen (Frankfurt 1795) (Eng. trans. The Maid of Marienburg: a drama, in five acts. From the German of Kratter [London 1798]) on 17 February 1802 in the Weimar theater, just five days before Caroline is here writing (Das Repertoire des Weimarischen Theaters 42):
Goethe remarks in a letter from Jena to Christiane Vulpius on 19 February 1802 that “the applause that Demoiselle Maas is receiving pleases me, and I certainly hope to see her myself soon.” See the annotations to this passage, Weimarer Ausgabe 16:411:
Wilhelmine Maass debuted on 17 February 1802 as Chatinka in Kratter’s Mädchen von Marienburg. Before the performance, Christiane thought that in a role of this sort, “a dwarf like that will end up ruining herself.” Afterwards, however, she was quite taken with both the voice and the enunciation of Demoiselle Maass, and thought she could thereby recognize Maass as a pupil of Friederike Unzelmann. She also came to terms with Maass’s diminutive stature, maintaining that “even a czar [the play is set at one of the Russian czar’s summer residences] can fall in love with a little darling like this once in a while.” Back.
 In Voltaire’s oriental novel Zadig, ou, La destinée, histoire orientale (original title Memnon, histoire orientale) (London [i.e., Amsterdam?] 1747; as Zadig: 1748) the protagonist draws astute conclusions concerning a dog and a horse from the very slightest of evidence. For the text, see supplementary appendix 348.1 Back.
According to Erich Schmidt, (1913), 2:636, the romance by Goethe is probably “Schäfers Klagelied.” Goethe writes to Schiller from Jena on 19 February 1802 (Correspondence Between Goethe and Schiller 2:402): “My stay here has been most pleasant, even some poetical things have presented themselves, and I have again written a couple of songs to well-known melodies.”
“The Shepherd’s Lament,” translation from Goethe’s Works, vol. 1, trans. George Barrie (Philadelphia 1885), 36–37 (illustration from Liebesblüthen aus Deutschlands Dichterhain, ed. Hermann Lingg [Düsseldorf 1869], 143):
On yonder lofty mountain A thousand times I stand, And on my staff reclining, Look down on the smiling land. My grazing flocks then I follow, My dog protecting them well; I find myself in the valley, But how, I scarcely can tell. The whole of the meadow is cover'd With flowers of beauty rare; I pluck them, but pluck them unknowing To whom the offering to bear. In rain and storm and tempest, I tarry beneath the tree, But clos'd remaineth yon portal; 'Tis all but a vision to me. High over yonder dwelling, There rises a rainbow gay; But she from home hath departed, And wander'd far, far away. Yes, far away hath she wande'd, Perchance e'en over the sea; Move onward, ye sheep, then, move onward! Full sad the shepherd must be.
Karl Friedrich Zelter, who would have tea with Caroline on 1 March (see her letter to Wilhelm on 1 March 1802 [letter 349]), took these verses with him to Leipzig and immediately set them to music; he writes to Goethe on 7 April 1802 (Der Briefwechsel zwischen Goethe und Zelter, ed. Max Hecker, 3 vols. [Leipzig 1913], 1:21):
From Frau Justizrat Hufeland I took along “The Shepherd’s Lament” and went ahead and set it to music in Leipzig. It must not be sung too loudly, but rather as delicately and lightly as possible.
From Zelter’s sämmtliche Lieder, Balladen und Romanzen für das Piano-Forte, 4 vols. (Berlin 1810–13), vol. 1, no. 2:
Later in the same letter to Schiller of 19 February 1802 (Correspondence Between Goethe and Schiller 2:402–3), Goethe remarks:
With Schelling I spent a very pleasant evening. It is always delightful to come across great clearness of mind combined with great depth. I should like to see him oftener, were it not that I am still hoping for poetic hours, and philosophy, in my case, disturbs the poetic mood, probably because it drives me into the object, for I am never able to keep myself in a purely speculative mood, but have immediately to try and form a distinct conception, and on this account at once fly out into nature. Back.
 Friedrich Tieck was currently in Berlin. Back.
I know nothing about the latter [Ludwig Tieck] having had a falling out with Fromman; she paid me a visit and mentioned only that Tiek had not yet sent anything more of Octavian.
 Friedrich, who was staying with Charlotte Ernst in Dresden and was in acute financial distress (see his letter to Schleiermacher on 4 February 1802 [letter 345a], esp. note 5), was in a similarly tense situation with the publisher Frommann as a result of the slow turnaround of his and Schleiermacher’s proposed translation of Plato. On 1 March 1802 (KFSA 25:336–38), Friedrich wrote Frommann a lengthy letter reassuring the latter (twice) that “everything, everything will be in your hands by the end of March of the beginning of April . . . the entire manuscript.” It was not.
In her letter to Wilhelm on 11–14 January 1802 (letter 340), however, Caroline had already alluded to Friedrich’s dissipated life in Berlin and remarked, “What, given this Epicureanism, will now become of Plato?”
As it turned out, Friedrich left Frommann completely in the lurch with regard to the translation, which had already been announced in several periodicals. Ultimately Schleiermacher completed this enormous piece of work by himself. See Schleiermacher’s letter to Friedrich back on 27 April 1801 (letter 312b), also note 10 there. Back.
 Frommann eventually showed Caroline the lengthy letter Friedrich wrote to him of 1 March discussed above, and she in her own turn related its content to Wilhelm in her letter to the latter on 8 March 1802 (letter 352). Back.
 Friedrich contributed to Vermehren’s Musen-Almanach für das Jahr 1803 (Jena 1803).
Here Daniel Nikolaus Chodowiecki’s illustrations of the two professions Caroline here mentions: cobbler or shoemaker, and tailors, in both instances with apprentices or assistants (Der Schuster mit seinen Gesellen und dem Lehrburschen, and Der Schneider mit seinen Gehilfen, both ; from the (Kupfersammlung zu J[ohann] B[ernhard] Basedows Elementarwerke für die Jugend und ihre Freunde: Erste Lieferung in 53 Tafeln. Zweyte Lieferung in 47 Tafeln von L bis XCVI [Leipzig, Dessau, Berlin 1774], plates XIX c and d):
Here the same two professions in the early eighteenth century (Christoff Weigel, Abbildung Der Gemein-Nützlichen Haupt-Stände Von denen Regenten Und ihren So in Friedens- als Kriegs-Zeiten zugeordneten Bedienten an biß auf alle Künstler und Handwercker nach Jedes Ambts- und Beruffs-Verrichtungen meist nach dem Leben gezeichnet und in Kupfer gebracht etc. [Regenspurg 1698], illustrations following pp. 644, 574):
 At issue was the implication that various professors, in solidarity with Fichte, would resign their positions at the university in Jena should Fichte be dismissed. Although Fichte was indeed dismissed in 1799, no professors resigned. See the supplementary appendix on Fichte’s atheism dispute.
That Schelling was about to publish something about this issue had recently created even more tension between him and Fichte than was already present. In her letter to Wilhelm on 14 January 1802 (letter 340), Caroline remarks that
it is weighing heavily on Schelling that Hegel, to whom he related what he had told you concerning Paulus, also [betrayed] his idea to make public something about Fichte’s departure that would free him and Niethammer from the eternal offense of being mentioned as those who left him [Fichte] in the lurch. Back.
 Concerning the relationship between Fichte and Schelling, which at this point was essentially over, see, among other documents in this present collection, also Caroline’s letter to Wilhelm on 18 January 1802 (letter 341), also with notes 25 and 26. Back.
 Schelling’s Zeitschrift für spekulative Physik; only issue III, 1 was begun but not finished because of problems with the publisher Christian Ernst Gabler that prompted Schelling to abandon the project entirely with Gabler and begin negotiations with Johann Friedrich Cotta in Tübingen, who eventually published the continuation as Neue Zeitschrift für spekulative Physik with new volume and issue numbering, issue I, 1 appearing in August 1802.
The main problem was that Schelling had originally planned to publish his dialogue Bruno; oder, Über das göttliche und natürliche Princip der Dinge. Ein Gespräch (Berlin 1802) (see Caroline’s letter to Wilhelm on 20–21 December 1801 [letter 336], note 42) in issues III, 1 and III, 2 of the original Zeitschrift für spekulative Physik, and that the proofs for III, 1 had already been printed. He queried Wilhelm in Berlin on 19 March 1802 (Fuhrmans 2:389–91), possibly sending along those proofs, concerning the possibility of finding a publisher there; and in fact, Johann Friedrich Unger eventually did publish Bruno:
In the meantime, however, Schelling had gotten involved in a legal dispute with Gabler as well. Back.
 Kritisches Journal der Philosophie, ed. Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (Tübingen 1802), vol. 1, no. 2. Back.
In her letter to Wilhelm on 15 February 1802 (letter 347), Caroline had been anxious lest the Grattenauers “have not really believed I would be coming and offered the rooms to you only with that in mind.” She would in any case not be staying with Wilhelm himself, who instead had been residing with the Bernhardis. See the supplementary appendix on Wilhelm’s residences in Berlin.
Translation © 2016 Doug Stott